Can a NAS work only with 1 or 2 drives?

Hello I’m looking into QNAS 251 I only need about 6tb I’m not worried about backing up files my question is if I buy the 2bay do I have to put a hard drive in both for it to work and if I buy the 4bay one can I put a hard-drive in just one thank you.

The answer is yes you can. It is actually very popular to half populate the available bays. That not only saves money to start with but also saves electricity. Puting a single drive is not as popular as 2 drives in the 4 bay NAS, because it is still providing 1 drive protection. Later on, you can upgrade the raid to a RAID5. Or if you have a Synology, choosing SHR will automatically allow you to add more drives later without changing a RAID.

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